The United Nation’s New Grotto

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When the United Nations decided to redecorate the Human Rights Hall of their Geneva headquarters, they called upon renowned Spanish artist Miquel Barcelo to provide his own unique take on the redesign.

Using 77,000 pounds of paint and a multi-million Euro budget, the artist created a textured and engaging grotto complete with multi-colored stalactites.

A $23 million ceiling painting featuring hundreds of dangling icicle shapes that has been criticized for its hefty price tag was unveiled Tuesday at the United Nations.

The 16,000-square-foot (1,500-square-meter) elliptical dome full of bright colors and torn aluminum took over a year to produce.

Spanish abstract artist Miquel Barcelo used more than 100 tons of paint with pigments from all over the world, and worked with architects, engineers and even particle physics laboratories to develop the extra-strength aluminum for the dome.

“On a day of immense heat in the middle of the Sahel desert, I recall with vivacity the mirage of an image of the world dripping toward the sky,” Barcelo says. “Trees, dunes, donkeys, multicolored beings flowing drop by drop.”

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From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by whitespace.


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Acoustically, it probably works very well to keep down the noise in that large roomfull of people. And the impression of dripping vomit will keep delegates focused down on their paperwork.

However, I'd have to say that many artists get carried away when they get financing, forgetting who or what they are designing for, and using the opportunity to follow whatever fanciful ideas they are having at the moment, relevant or not.
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Go into any public building, restaurant, or library and take note of the condition - dust/grime/water damage especially on cottage cheese textured ceilings. This designer wants to accentuate that? Good grief.
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